Michele Babchuk sat on the SRD board, a position that will need to be filled after she heads to the legislature. Photo contributed

Michele Babchuk sat on the SRD board, a position that will need to be filled after she heads to the legislature. Photo contributed

Good timing for Babchuk’s seat replacement at SRD table

SRD Board scheduled to hold chair election next week

Some changes are to come for the Strathcona Regional District since one of their board members and chair Michele Babchuk will likely be confirmed as the new MLA for the North Island riding after last week’s provincial election.

Though the official results have yet to come in, preliminary counts have Babchuk taking the seat as MLA for the NDP party.

“It’s a bit up in the air with this mail-in election,” said SRD chief administrative officer David Leitch. “As I’ve read myself on Elections BC, the MLAs will not be assured of their position until the mail-in votes are counted, which is 13 days from the election on the 24th. However, having said that most of them are fairly certain that the mail-in ballots can’t unseat them. There’s some uncertainty as to when they’re going to be sworn in as MLA.”

As of Oct. 28, Babchuk had 48 per cent of the initial vote, with 101 of 101 ballot boxes reporting in. However, because of the large amount of mail-in voting, the official results are not going to be available until the final count 13 days after the election.

Babchuk is appointed to the board from Campbell River’s city council, and is not directly elected to the SRD. She also sits as the current board chair, and is on a number of committees within the SRD.

However, the timing has proven to be convenient for replacing her. The SRD board is holding their annual chair election on Nov. 4, and will be replacing their committee members in the December meeting.

“That’s pretty convenient,” Leitch said “We have to come up with a unique way to vote for chair. Our voting for chair is on the 4th, so that seems like a pretty smooth transition to another chair.”

The unique way of voting for chair is needed because of the board’s virtual meetings. They have found a way to hold a secret ballot even though they will be voting from the virtual meeting.

After Babchuk’s resignation from council and the SRD board, Mayor Andy Adams will appoint a new representative from city council.

“There is two additional folks there. The mayor would appoint one of those two,” Leitch said. “Since I’ve been here he’s appointed SRD reps by how they finished in the polls. He doesn’t have to do that, but I think historically it was the top five that he’s appointed to SRD.”

Of the two councillors not on the SRD board, Kermit Dahl and Colleen Evans, Evans had the higher share of the vote in 2018, so she will likely be the pick. Councillors Claire Moglove, Charlie Cornfield and Ron Kerr currently sit on the board, as does Mayor Andy Adams.

Babchuk had taken a leave of absence from her position on the board through the campaign. Vice chair Brad Unger had taken on her duties as chair of the board during that time. Leitch said that Babchuk plans to attend meetings until she is sworn in to the Legislature.

“I don’t even know after the 13 days what exactly happens. I’ve chatted with her, and I don’t think she knows either. Nobody’s been through this. I think she’s probably thinking somewhere between mid November and the end of November that they’re sworn in and are working. I don’t even know if she could give you a date, because it’s such a fluid situation there,” Leitch said. “I think she’s being cautious in terms of that. She doesn’t want to step down until all the dust is settled. I think she’s erring on the side of caution.”

RELATED: Babchuk declared winner in North Island

B.C. VOTES 2020 MAP: Provincial election results, riding by riding



marc.kitteringham@campbellrivermirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

GovernmentStrathcona Regional District

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Jacob Koomen takes his bike out for a spin near his home in Campbell River. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Campbell Riverite to cycle length of Island to raise funds for cancer research

Long distance rides are no big deal for 73-year-old cyclist

Comox Strathcona Waste Management expects to go to tender this summer for the regional organics compost facility in Campbell River. File photo/Black Press
Comox Strathcona compost site should go to tender this summer

The regional organics facility is on target to open for the fall of 2022

WestJet in flight. Black Press file photo
Two COVID exposures on WestJet flight into Comox

The BC Centre for Disease Control has posted advisories for two separate… Continue reading

Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Busy day for Campbell River fire crews

Three incidents in rapid succession keep crews on their toes

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a ‘person of interest’ in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
RCMP identify ‘person of interest’ in Kootenay National Park suspicious death

Police are looking for Philip Toner, who was known to a woman found dead near Radium last week

Vancouver Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko (35) makes a save on Winnipeg Jets’ Nate Thompson (11) during second period NHL action in Winnipeg, Monday, May 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Greenslade
Vancouver Canucks see NHL playoff hopes dashed despite 3-1 win over Winnipeg

Montreal Canadiens earn final North Division post-season spot

The B.C. legislature went from 85 seats to 87 before the 2017 election, causing a reorganization with curved rows and new desks squeezed in at the back. The next electoral boundary review could see another six seats added. (Black Press files)
B.C. election law could add six seats, remove rural protection

North, Kootenays could lose seats as cities gain more

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the shooting of an Indigenous woman in the Ucluelet First Nation community of Hitacu. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. First Nation wants ‘massive change’ after its 3rd police shooting in less than a year

Nuu-chah-nulth woman recovering from gunshot wounds in weekend incident near Ucluelet

Nurse Gurinder Rai, left, administers the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to Maria Yule at a Fraser Health drive-thru vaccination site, in Coquitlam, B.C., on Wednesday, May 5, 2021. The site is open for vaccinations 11 hours per day to those who have pre-booked an appointment. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID vaccine bookings to open for adults 40+, or 18+ in hotspots, across B.C.

Only people who have registered will get their alert to book

Dr. Victoria Lee, CEO of Fraser Health, hosts an update on efforts to contain B.C.’s COVID-19 transmission in Surrey and the Fraser Valley and protect hospitals in the Lower Mainland, May 6, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate slowing, 20 more people die

Deaths include two people in their 40s, two in their 50s

Most Read